The district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, is highly Democratic and is considered a trusted blue seat. It was previously held for years by veteran Democrat Joe Crowley, whom Ocasio-Cortez defeated in a big surprise in the 2018 midterm elections.
Ocasio-Cortez, who in his first term became a progressive national icon, had significant career advantages, including strong national name recognition, devoted supporters, and significant fundraising. She had raised more than $ 10.5 million, an amount that far exceeds the fundraising totals of any of her challengers.
In comparison, Caruso-Cabrera had raised more than $ 2 million, according to the latest data from the Federal Election Commission.
The Democratic primary pairing had attracted national media attention, in part, because of the congresswoman’s important national profile.
Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in March that “it is everyone’s right to participate in the race” when asked about the main challengers, but added that “anyone who presents a challenge is an automatic platform for republican publications and for far right and you can raise funds from that.
There are great ideological differences between Ocasio-Cortez and Caruso-Cabrera.
The congresswoman is an outspoken advocate for progressive committees like Green New Deal and Medicare-for-All. In contrast, Caruso-Cabrera describes herself as centrist and moderate. She said “Medicare for all is not the answer” during her campaign and dismissed the Green New Deal as “divisive policy.”
Caruso-Cabrera argued that Ocasio-Cortez is “MIA” and is more concerned with building a national profile than her constituents. In an interview with CNN, she said that the congresswoman “wants to be a national star” and added: “I want to be a congresswoman for the people of the Bronx and Queens.”
Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in March in response to accusations that she is not focused on her district, “It really just makes the person sound deaf because if you think I’m not around, the person who isn’t around is you, because you don’t see us and we are everywhere. But if they want to go out and say things that are not true and carry out a Trump-style campaign, that’s it. ”
The congresswoman and her campaign have portrayed Caruso-Cabrera as a candidate backed by Trump’s corporate interests and allies, highlighting media reports that financial executives and pro-Trump donors have contributed to Caruso-Cabrera.
Ocasio-Cortez also chased her main opponent for being a registered Republican and living in a Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan before moving to the district last year.
In response, Caruso-Cabrera has argued that she is more committed to the district than the congresswoman and has said that she is a true Democrat, calling Ocasio-Cortez a Socialist Democrat.
“I am a true Democrat,” Caruso-Cabrera told CNN, adding that the district’s residents “don’t want the revolution.”
As he argued that the congresswoman is absent from the district, Caruso-Cabrera repeatedly attacked Ocasio-Cortez for staying in Washington for a week after the pandemic hit, even though Congress was not in session. Ocasio-Cortez has backed down, saying he only did so because he was not feeling well.
During a virtual debate in June, the congresswoman said she hosted and attended more than 200 events in the district, including 17 city councils, and organized 235,000 constituent check-ups and delivered more than 3,000 bags of groceries to constituents during the pandemic. .
This story has been updated with additional developments on Tuesday.